tv Nancy Grace HLN November 25, 2009 3:00am-4:00am EST
♪ welcome to comcast local edition. i am donna richardson and my guest this hour is colonel george f. johnson iv superintendent of the maryland natural resources police. colonel, thank you for joining me. >> great to be here with you. >> in addition to being with the maryland natural resources you are president of the maryland police chief association, and who in addition to chief are your members? and who is working with you? >> it is comprised mostly of chief of police from all over the state and state government and law enforcement chiefs and county and municipalities that exist in all of the state of maryland. >> i know as a group i know
there are several initiatives taking place. there is a new one. checkpoint strike force. >> yes, it is a research based-multi-state situation where we pick and we go out there and we look for drivers that are impaired and work to get them off of the road and we do that through our sobriarity checkpoints and our saturation patrols. >> and so, which jerse - jurisdiction, one specific area or all of the jurisdictions now involved? >> all throughout maryland, the chiefs of police have signed on. every jurisdiction signed on in some way shape or form to participate in the checkpoint strike force. >> and so do you find that the checkpoints are helpful in hopefully lowering traffic fatalities? >> absolutely. fatalities have been reduced 20
percent in the areas where we are doing the checkpoints . it proves to be extremely beneficial to us in many different ways. >> and do you find that the residents are supporting the checkpoints and do you have partner necessary this effort? >> yes, we do. as you know, it is a powerful organization of mothers against drunk drivers. we work with them chosely in this endeavor and other organizations. their surveys indicate 85 to 90 percent of the people they talked to support the checkpoints. >> do you do these at specific times of year or are the checkpoints ongoing initiative. >> they are ongoing initiatives. they will be taking place every week and everywhere and where you think that it is the best possible opportunity to deploy the work force and effective use
knowledge of our people in this endeavor. >> as you are having the checkpoints and i know initially you are looking for impaired drivers, but are you finding other things when you are pulling over the impaired drivers? >> oh, yes. people are very surprised what we run into on the checkpoints. the main focus is to get the impaired drivers that use alcohol off of the streets and identify them. but we are running into people who have warrants on them. their licenses are suspended, some people have drugs in the vehicle this we were able to detect and find. there is a whole gamut of things and seat belt usage. it helps us with the seat belt initiatives and child safety seat. we are able to make different observations and of course, we put a lot of emphasis on the
seat belt usage and child safety seat as well >> i know some jurisdiction or most of the them, there is zero tolerance if you don't have your seat belt on, it is amazing that people are still driving without them. >> it is with the seat belt usage, if you are involved in an accident with the impaired drivers that use alcohol that gives you that much more of a chance to survive. >> how can citizens assist with the checkpoint strike force? >> we need them to be our eyes and ears out there. as with many thing necessary law enforcement and we ask citizens to do. if they see a person driving erratically or aggressively and feel they are under the influence of alcohol. pick up the cell phone and dial the number 911 or what ever it is that they feel comfortable in using. >> thank you, colonel for joining me. >> donna thank you for helping us.